Cinarizina: What is it? How does it work? Precautions, Side Effects, Interactions and Overdose

It is a drug derived from piperazine, characterized as an antihistamine and calcium channel blocker. It is also known to promote cerebral blood flow.

Cinnarizine belongs to a group of medicines used to treat vertigo ( dizziness). It belongs to the group of antihistamines.

This medication acts on the calcium channels in the vascular smooth muscle, reducing vertigo.

Due to this effect is used to treat vertigo, relieve symptoms of Meniere’s disease, and relieve nausea during travel (motion sickness).

Cinnarizine has a dilating effect on the blood vessels at higher doses and is used in some circulation disorders.

To prevent dizziness, the medication should be taken between 30 and 60 minutes before the start, and the dose should be repeated every 6-8 hours.

How does the cinnarizine work?

It is thought that cinnarizine interferes with signal transmission between the middle ear and the hypothalamus, the part of the brain where nausea and vomiting are controlled. The cinnarizine is available as tablets and capsules.


Preventive detention of this medication

When taken to treat or prevent motion sickness, the cinnarizine can be stopped safely when no longer needed.

However, if your specialist prescribed this medication for another reason, you should not stop using it before the consultation.

Prolonged use

Prolonged use may be associated with movement disorders, particularly in the elderly.

Special precautions

Cinnarizine should be avoided in patients with Parkinson’s disease and extrapyramidal syndrome (abnormal involuntary movements).

In addition, this medication should be avoided in patients allergic to cinnarizine.

It should be used with additional precautions in patients with hepatic insufficiency or renal function and patients with low blood pressure ( hypotension ).

Cinnarizine can only be used with additional precautions in the following conditions:

  • Epilepsy.
  • In patients with a blood disorder known as porphyria.
  • In patients with prostate problems.

Keep in mind that this medication may cause drowsiness and, therefore, you should avoid driving a vehicle and operating machinery.

Consult your specialist before using this medicine if:

  • You have low blood pressure.
  • You have porphyria.
  • You have glaucoma .
  • You have an enlarged prostate.
  • You are taking other medications.
  • Pregnancy: Avoid as it has been reported as a potential risk to the fetus, so consult your specialist before use or if you plan to become pregnant.
  • Lactation: The use of Cinnarizine in nursing mothers should be avoided.
  • It is not known how this medication can affect your baby.
  • Porphyria: This medicine can cause serious side effects. Consult your specialist before use.
  • Babies and children: You need a reduced dose if it is prescribed for children.
  • Elderly: No special precautions should be taken.
  • Driving and dangerous work: Caution is recommended as this medication can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Alcohol: Avoid the concomitant use of alcohol with this medication, as it may increase the sedative effects of cinnarizine.

Possible side effects

  • Drowsiness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Constipation.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Rash.
  • Skin itch.

Dangerous Interactions

  • Drug interactions.
  • Alcohol.
  • Increased risk of sedation.
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Sedatives
  • Other antihistamines.


An overdose of this medication can be fatal. Seek immediate emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include hallucinations, seizures, dilated pupils, and coma.

Recommended dose:

  • Adults: 25 mg 3 times a day (maximum 225 mg / day).
  • Balance disorder: One tablet, 1-2 times a day, after meals.
  • Prevention of dizziness:  By movement 1/2 (one half) of the tablet, 2 hours before the trip.
  • The treatment of vestibular disorders: 1/2 (one half) of the tablet, 2-3 times a day.

Be sure to take cinnarizine after meals to reduce the side effect on the stomach.

Use with other medications.

Cinnarizine should be avoided in combination with the following medications:

  • Medications are used to treat high blood pressure ( hypertension ).
  • Cinnarizine can potentiate the effects of these medications and cause side effects.
  • Drugs used to treat nausea, such as domperidone.
  • The concomitant use of these medications increases the risk of side effects.
  • The medicines used to treat depression.

If you have doubts or questions about your health, you should always consult with a specialist or other health professional.